General Dynamics F-111E Aardvark

History of the F-111E Aardvark

The F-111 came about to meet the United States Air Force (USAF) requirement for a new, tactical fighter-bomber capable of long-range, all-weather strikes at low level to destroy targets deep in enemy territory. Compared to earlier models, the F-111E had modified air intakes to improve engine performance and a new forward-looking attack radar.  In total, 566 F-111s of all series were built; 94 of them were production F-111Es.The F-111 was used primarily during the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm. These aircraft were credited with destroying roughly 1,500 tanks and armored vehicles. When the F-111 was retired from service in July 1996, the previously unofficial name, “Aardvark,” was officially adopted for the plane as part of the ceremony.

General Dynamics F-111E Aardvark

Serial Number: 68-0020

Manufacturer: General Dynamics

Crew: Two

Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P3 turbofans; 18,500 pounds thrust each in afterburner

Wingspan: 63 feet (extended); 31 feet 11 1/2 inches (swept)

Length: 73 feet 5 1/2 inches

Height: 17 feet 6 inches

Weight: 46,172 pounds (empty); 98,850 pounds (maximum)

Speed: 470 mph (cruising); 1,453 mph, Mach 2.5 (maximum)

Range: 3,165 miles with external fuel tanks (maximum)

Service Ceiling: 61,000 feet

Armament: One 20mm M61A1 Vulcan rotary cannon with 2,000 rounds of ammunition; up to 30,000 pounds of conventional or nuclear ordnance (internal and external)

Cost: $8,200,000

The F-111E Aardvark at Hill Air Force Base

In August 1965, the Ogden Air Material Area was assigned the specialized repair of certain equipment on the F-111A aircraft, including the rocket motor and capsule pyrotechnics for the crew escape module and many wheel and brake system components. One year later, Hill Air Force Base was designated as the responsible engineering agency for all F/RF/FB-111A landing gear components. In early 1973, the base was assigned the repair of the missile ejector racks used on the FB-111 aircraft. Hill Air Force Base also either maintained, supported or oversaw several F-111 aircrew training systems and simulators over the years. The F-111E on display was manufactured in 1969. It served on several bases within the United States and at the Royal Air Force Base in Upper Heyford, England, in 1971. In 1994, this aircraft moved to Hill Aerospace Museum for display.

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